Our Mission

Our mission is to deliver a program that meets the needs of campers with diverse challenges through a summer camp that fills a void in the surrounding communities.  We promote social interaction, inclusion and accessibility while challenging our campers to improve skills in our beautiful outdoor setting. 


Addressing A Need

Campers on the ASD spectrum have a large range of needs and require specific programming to create an environment that is fun, safe and stimulating. 


As parents, you are looking for summer programming that provides a break from the daily challenges of raising and managing a teenager or young adult with ASD or special needs.

Teenagers with Autism or special needs may have difficulties with:

  • Awareness of others and learning from others

  • Communication and interaction 

  • Sensory processing issues

  • Coping with change and anxiety management

  • Motor skill development 

  • Problem solving, making decisions + planning   


Core Focus on Skill Development

Life skills are very complex tasks, which require specific teaching and plenty of practice.  At Karma Country Camp we want our campers to have fun while also developing these critical skills for future development.


Thinking Skills:

  • Creativity and imagination

  • Problem solving

  • Decision making

  • Self-knowledge

  • Critical thinking

  • Assessing and analysing information


Learning Skills:

  • Agility and adaptability

  • Receiving and giving feedback

  • Handling criticism

  • Innovation and exploration

  • Learner autonomy


Core Life Skills:

Work: pre vocational and employability skills, carrying out responsibilities and managing delegated tasks

Self-care: personal hygiene, grooming and dressing 

Leisure: hobbies, sports and community groups

SHAWNA AKERMAN is a highly respected Special Needs teacher for the past 15 years with the York Region Public Board of Education. Over the past many years, Shawna has been working with students ranging from JK through High School who have ASD and other identifications. Her focus has been on helping parents transition their children to community classes, transitioning students with different abilities to post secondary, self advocacy and parent education. She has taught in the Summer School Special Education program for 5 years for kids with developmental delays. Shawna is currently completing her degree in Psychotherapy. She has 2 children who are profoundly deaf and wear cochlear implants and has worked with VOICE for deaf kids for over 15 years.  Shawna brings her knowledge, network and experience to build an exciting and new summer program for Karma Country Camp.


SHAWN KENDALis a parent of a daughter who is on the severe end of the ASD spectrum and will be turning 21 this coming summer. His experience navigating the system for Rachel and the limitations of programs available have led to the creation of this passion project.  Aside from first hand experience raising a child with ASD, Shawn also brings extensive experience from his twenty-year career as a professional sales executive, people manager and certified life coach to manage camp operations and oversee our incredible team of staff.  

Our collective goal is to provide a unique summer experience for our campers through fun and skill based activities.  We also hope to create a community of families with the focus on advocacy for education, funding and young adults through a work support program.

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